According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 80 percent of Americans don’t get the amount of exercise recommended for optimal health. Here are three ways to take advantage of “off” hours to meet the CDC-recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity and improve health and well-being – without reinventing your lifestyle.
1. Work out before work
If you’re not a natural early bird, starting a morning exercise routine can be difficult. However, morning workouts have unique advantages. Exercising in the morning can boost your mood, and improved focus, and less stress throughout the day.
You’re also more likely to be more active throughout the day following a morning workout. You’ll also burn more fat since you’re more likely exercising on an empty stomach. A 2013 British Journal of Nutrition study found that men who exercised on an empty stomach burned as much as 20 percent more fat than exercising after eating.
2. Stay active and exercise during work
If you can’t make time in the morning, consider taking breaks from work that involve actively exercise. Whether you take walking meetings, or swap a lunch break for a yoga class, you’ll be beating stress at the source.
The Mayo Clinic notes that even if you can’t spare that full half hour during the day, working out in intervals still has health benefits. Try three ten minute walks when you’re feeling particularly tired or stressed in the office. If you don’t like walking, try one of these eight simple desk exercises.
3. Work out after work
Evening exercise routines carry their own unique benefits. First, you’re more likely to be more flexible and limber compared to an early morning workout, reducing the chance for injury. Late afternoon and early evening (from 3:00PM to 6:00PM) are peak times for the body’s production of the hormones cortisol and testosterone, which can aid strength-training exercises focused on muscle development. And working out in evening often means you can exercise longer since there are fewer time commitments like work in the evening.
Staying fit and healthy doesn’t have to mean reinventing your lifestyle. Simple changes to routine can create significant health benefits. If you’ve got ideas you’re unsure about or even need help getting started, consider making a health coaching appointment. OurHealth’s certified health coaches can help you identify realistic goals, develop an action plan, and measure your progress along the way.
Schedule a health coaching appointment at member.ourhealth.org or call the Member Relations team at 866-434-3255.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014